St. Croix Falls, WI
If the close finish on Friday night at the Open Wheel Nationals wasn't enough excitement, the UMSS Traditional sprint cars outdid themselves with one of the most spectacular feature races so far in the four year history of this series. Following an opening lap caution, the 25 lap feature ran nonstop to the checkers with six cars in the lead pack battling for positions all race long. The outcome was not determined until two-time and defending series champion Rob Caho, Jr. of Wyoming, MN pulled off a last lap, last corner pass coming out of turn four to the checkers! Rookie driver Mike Walters had been absolutely impressive in this race, leading 24 3/4 laps of the feature only to lose out to Caho in the waning moments coming to the finish. For Caho, it was his fourth win of the season and 19th career TSCS triumph. While Caho celebrated in Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup Victory Lane, the "Voice of the Valley" track announcer Terry Lehnertz prepared for the post-race interview on the second night of the Open Wheel Nationals.
In his post-race interview from Victory Lane, Caho stated, "I saw the two to go signal and figured I better not be a pansy and get up on the steering wheel if I wanted to win this deal." Get up on the wheel he did, as the high groove was to Caho's liking as it usually is on many race nights. The crowd went wild as Caho powered around the top side in turns 3-4 while Walters held to his line that he had run the entire race about a car length or so above the bottom. For the second night in a row, the outcome was in doubt to the checkers. You just cannot get much better racing in any division for that matter, than what was witnessed by fans in the TSCS sprints at the 2014 edition of the Open Wheel Nationals.
After point leader Cam Schafer and Jimmy Kouba won the heat races, Schafer earned the right to pull the invert pill. Schafer drew a five pill which put Mike Walters and Jimmy Kouba on the front row for the feature. The caution blinked on before one lap could be completed when Chase Viebrock, Johnny Parsons III and Jeff Pellersels tangled in turn four. All cars were able to restart, but Parsons dropped out a few laps later. The race would then run nonstop to the checkers, as Walters held a narrow lead for most of the race with six cars in the lead pack. Positions changed hands before Walters on several occasions as the laps clicked off under green. Jimmy Kouba challenged for the lead, then Caho took a peak up top, and then Schafer was in the battle. Mike Mueller and Jake Kouba also were in the lead pack.
Coming to the white flag, Caho was gaining ground up top and had moved past Schafer into second a few laps earlier. Caho roared around the high side at both ends of the track while Walters was steady and strong in the lower groove he had been running throughout the race. As Caho powered off turn four on the final lap, the blue #78 slipped by the white #27 with the crowd cheering. Caho crossed the line about a car length ahead for the win. Walters certainly caught the attention of fans and fellow drivers with his strong performance. Schafer, Jimmy Kouba, Mueller and Jake Kouba completed the top six. Another rookie competitor, Alex Peper also turned in a very solid effort with a seventh place finish followed by Viebrock, Josh Hendrickson and Mike Haseltine. Only three cars dropped out of the race.
The Traditional sprints will prepare for a two race weekend again next Friday at the St. Croix Valley raceway and on Sunday July 20 for their annual appearance at the Granite City Speedway. With his thrilling victory, Rob Caho, Jr. edged past Cam Schafer in the current point standings by a slim six markers. The Traditional sprints will throw one their lowest point show out at the end of the season to determine the champion, but for the time being the point standings show all events. As the season draws closer to the end, the standings will be updated to reflect the championship battle. Fans can keep updated on the results, points and other news by visiting the UMSS website at www.umsprints.com and clicking on the blue Traditional Sprint Car Series logo.
UMSS TSCS Race Results - St. Croix Valley Raceway July 12, 2014 (Race #13)
3rd Annual Open Wheel Nationals
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat #1 (10 laps): 54 Cam Schafer, 78 Rob Caho Jr, 87 Mike Mueller, 50 Chase Viebrock, 5 mike Haseltine, 69s Jon Lewerer, 7B Scott Brandt DNF, 21J Jori Hughes DNF.
Track Rat Photos Heat #2 (10 laps): 21 Jimmy Kouba, 2K Jake Kouba, , 27 Mike Walters, 1 Jeff Pellersels, 81 Alex Peper, 12 Johnny Parsons III, 23 Josh Hendrickson, 95 Kevin Bradwell.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service A Main (25 laps): Caho, Walters, Schafer, Jimmy Kouba, Mueller, Jake Kouba, Peper, Viebrock, Hendrickson, Haseltine, Lewerer, Pellersels, Brandt, Hughes DNF, Bradwell DNF, Parsons DNF.
Lap Leaders: Mike Walters 1-24, Caho 25.
Cautions: (1) on the opening lap, then 25 laps nonstop!
Photo courtesy of Vince Peterson at Track Rat Photos.